Sunday, 16 September 2012

Delights and dilemmas

This week has been a great example of how I feel about parenting in general. It’s just my personal opinion but it seems to me that parenting (whatever age your child is) involves a generous helping of delights and well … dilemmas. Ellie is only four, so I’ve a long way to go, but four years in there’s no doubt that I’ve had a good mix of the two.

So here is my summary of the last week or so, in the form of my delights and dilemmas of the week. I’ve stuck to just three of each and as always, it’s written with a great deal of honesty and a pinch of humour so I hope you enjoy.

This week’s top three delights…

Number 1: Sneaky kisses
I just love it when I get kisses from Ellie especially since I know it won’t be long until she won’t want to kiss her mum so freely. Kisses at bedtime are a particular favourite, but my most favourite kiss of all is the sneaky one I steal when I go to check on her before I got to bed and she is fast asleep. It’s not that long ago that I would have been paranoid about disturbing her but now this is literally part of my bedtime routine (um maybe I’m a bit old for a routine but there it is).

Number two: Giggling
My daughter is funny, whether she knows it or not. Sometimes she’s trying to be funny and possibly more often than not, she says something funny in absolute innocence. There are also those times when she’s being stroppy or cheeky and I just can’t stop myself feeling amused. The latter, I’m aware, are often the situations where I’m supposed to stay very serious but just occasionally I do find the sight of Ellie telling me she’s cross with me, or growling loudly, too funny to ignore. (I should add that my reaction isn’t always so easy going!)

One of my top magic moments this week was when Ellie and I had a giggling fit in the car on the way to visit my sister and her family. We were counting Morrison’s Lorries (there were more than you’d think!) when I said to Ellie that I thought they were busy little bees. Ellie’s reply was to say in a very squeaky voice ‘very busy bees making honey’. Now I realise as I write this down it doesn’t seem nearly as funny, but for whatever reason it was a perfect moment in time and both Ellie and I burst out laughing and couldn’t stop. Laughing like that with my daughter is definitely a delight which I will always treasure.

My second must share giggle this week is the following conversation as we watched Ben and Holly before we left the house one morning:

Me: We've seen this one before
Ellie: No we haven't
Me: I have
Ellie: Do u watch this when I’m not here then?
Me: No!
Ellie: You haven't seen it then.

Number three: Taking a day off work to go to a spa with a friend
Yes it’s true, I really did have a day off work (leaving Ellie at school and with the childminder) to go to a spa day with a close friend. Relaxing, gossiping and laughing for a day. It’s what you call ‘me time’ and I refuse to feel guilty. A happy, relaxed mummy makes for a much better mummy, so my spa day was therefore just as much for Ellie’s benefit as mine!

And so we move on to this week’s dilemmas:

Number one: How do I get clothes labels to stay on?
For anyone who read my last blog you’ll recall my moment of triumph as I finished ironing on all of Ellie’s school labels. Well after just one wash later, several of them have already fallen off. Humph.

Number two: How much leeway do I give to an exhausted, grumpy little girl…..aka….how much patience have I got?
I remember everyone telling me that Ellie would be exhausted when she started school and if I’m really honest I thought they were being just a little bit silly. I mean Ellie has been in full time nursery for more than 2 years now!

‘Crunch crunch’ – that I have to confess is the sound of me eating my words. Ellie has been totally exhausted. She’s managed to hold it together for school and for the child minder but with me she is considerably less inclined.

After her first week at school (just four half days) the weekend was nothing less than an ordeal. Ellie constantly told me she was tired but wouldn’t rest and instead everything became an argument and a trauma. Sharing toys with her Cousin was apparently an unreasonable thing to be asked to do, listening to mummy was an impossible this to do and for most of the weekend Ellie was ‘mad with you mummy’.

Feeling annoyed with Ellie isn’t my plan for our weekends together, so the idea of an entire weekend with a grumpy little girl was quite honestly depressing. Thanks to an ever patient sister and a boyfriend who sees the funny side, we did have fun and I even managed to remember to act like a grown up for most of the weekend. There can be no doubt however that inside I was constantly debating how much leeway I should give a tired little girl and how much patience I could muster.

Number three: Does it matter that I have no idea what Ellie has done at school?
Put simply it’s just weird to have no clue what Ellie has done when she’s been to school. Ellie (and from what I’ve gathered many other children) either ‘can’t remember’ or has done ‘nothing’. Now I’m quite sure that she doesn’t do nothing all day but I have no idea what she does do.

When she was at nursery the staff would always give me a low down on what she’d been doing – it wasn’t always in a huge amount of depth but nonetheless it was something. Now she’s at school she’s my source of this information and quite frankly at this point in time she’s a poor source! When I have pushed with a few questions I’ve gathered some interesting facts about the snack they’ve had – she sat on the floor, she ate cheerios (but not the chocolate ones mummy)!

I know that the advice is not to push them and I get it – but resisting the urge to sit her on the stairs when we get home and interrogate her takes a huge amount of self control.

So there it is, I’d love to know what you think of the blog and it would be great to hear about other people’s delights and dilemmas. Please do get in touch either via comments below or via twitter. If you want to follow my more regular updates (although limited to 140 characters!) then please follow me on twitter.


  1. Brilliant! I understand and remember it all! Just remember, you have to pick your arguments - which matter most?!

  2. Sound advice Nikki which I shall try my hardest to follow. I shall no doubt blog my successes or lack of!